Yogyakarta Food: Central Java
The cultural heart of Indonesia, Yogyakarta, is a gastronome’s delight with countless restorans and warungs from which to choose from. Not only that, you have the choice of delicacies from around the archipelago available from the street vendors or kaki lima. Yogyakarta’s traditional dish is Gudeg Yogya and can be purchased just about anywhere and at anytime of the day. Sampling the variety of foods available in the area or island you visit is exciting and especially for your palette.
Yogyakarta dishes are renowned for their sweetness. Over the decades more and more people have moved to Yogya from around the archipelago and now you have more diversity in flavours. There are many different kinds of interesting dishes, ranging from spicy to sweet and those fiery dishes that feel as though your throat has been ripped out. Because of the high population of Chinese residents in Yogyakarta, their culinary delights have also fused into the cuisine available.
But when in Yogya it is the street food that is the most delicious. Every night after the shops close, Lesehan vendors construct their tent-style warungs. It is great to sit on mats and get to know the locals whilst munching away on some delicious Yogyanese food. The food is cheap and there are the occasional wandering minstrels who will entertain you till the wee hours of the morning. Also, all along Jalan Malioboro mats are laid out on the pavement where the patrons can sit and enjoy the kaki lima food cooked fresh.
Herman Saksono, has compiled a list of a few of the delicious foods available in this beautiful city:
This is probably one of the most popular dish in Jogja. A plate of warm rice is served with a variety of dishes including chicken, boiled egg, tofu, and tempe cooked in thick coconut sauce, very sweet and slightly spicy. Very Jogja and a must taste. For added flavour, gudeg rice is served with Sambel Goreng Krecek which is very spicy and hot.
Another unique food. This dish is basically a serving of warm rice with Empal (Fried Beef), Abon (Preserved and Sweetened Beef), Perkedel )Potato Cake), Rolled Omelette and Sambal. Wrapped with banana leaves using special type of wrapping method this dish gives you the ultimate culinary experience.
Mie Goreng Jawa (Javanese Fried Noodles)
Tired of Chinese style Fried Noodles? Give Javanese Soft-Fried Noodles a try. Unlike Chinese Fried Noodles with its fish and pork flavour, Javanese Fried Noodles is lighter but sweeter with dominant shallot flavour.
Ayam Goreng Kalasan (Kalasan Fried Chicken)
This popular dish is also known as Ayam Goreng Mbok Berek (Mbok Berek’s Fried Chicken). Garlic and coriander flavored and served with the crunchy kremes-kremes. Another must taste food if you visit Jogja.
Light and appetising this type of soup is perfect as breakfast. Often served with Tempe, Perkedel and Liver Satay. Add a few drops of lime juice for extra flavor.
This infamous snack can only found in Kotagede, the original capital of Ancient Mataram Kingdom. This bite-size delicacy is made of grated coconut, sweetened with coconut sugar, wrapped with pandan-green colored tapioca dough and baked under warm coals.
Another popular delicacy. Originated by Chinese settlers, Bakpia is basically a baked sweet green bean wrapped with special wrapping. There are another variant of this snack where the green bean is substituted with black bean. Both are very tasty.
Don’t miss this if you are visiting Kaliurang. A sweet and spicy flavored Tempe sandwiched with cake made of rice and ketan. Unique and filling!
Often served at night this warm ginger flavored drink is mixed with peanuts, tapioca cake, and kolang-kaling. Great for extra warmth at night.
Although bajigur is a Javanese swear word don’t let this stop you from tasting this warm drink. This unusual drink is made of sweet coconut milk with mild ginger flavor mixed with breads and preserved fruit.